Friday, November 16, 2007

Eight Random Things

Before I started blogging myself, I would occasionally notice bloggers posting "eight random things" about themselves or responding to other memes that they'd been tagged with. As a reader, I always found these interesting because they offered me more oblique perspectives of the bloggers I'd been getting to know, complementing their normal range of subjects. Now as a blogger, for the first time this week, I was tagged with the "eight random things" meme by Jodi at BloomingWriter. If you've read my last several posts, you'll know I waited on this invitation for a few days, adhering to my determination to "blog without obligation," but in the background, I've been putting together my list and I'm ready to unveil it now!
While I had fun putting it together, I have some qualms about the other part of the invitation, tagging eight other bloggers to post their eight random things in turn. In any other part of my life, I'm the person who breaks any of those chains. I never forward e-mails, even the most worthy-seeming. But knowing that I used to enjoy reading these, and appreciating how generous Jodi has been in linking to me since I first commented on my blog (she was a Blogger Blog to Note several weeks ago -- great site!), I've decided I'll do the tagging. That said, I remind the bloggers I'm linking to that we blog best who blog not out of obligation, so if this tag doesn't work for your blog right now, please feel free to ignore it.
My last problem is that I only have six bloggers I feel comfortable tagging. If I have any blogging readers who want to participate, let me know and I'll link to you here. Meanwhile, I tag Une Femme d'Un Certain Age, IndigoAlison, Puttermeister, sknitty, ParisParfait, Life in LaLaLumay Land.
Jodi's posted rules on her blog, but I'm going to term these as suggestions rather than rules:
When tagged, link to the person who tagged you.
Then post these suggestions/rules before your list.
At the end of the post, tag and link to eight other people.

Eight random things about me:

1. I'm the eldest of 12 children. Although I don't mention this often now until people know me fairly well, it's probably a foundational aspect of my being. My nickname before I was even school age was "Nanny," and it's still difficult for me to accept that I don't have responsibility for everyone's well-being.
2. I skipped Grade one! My mom, who taught school before beginning a family, had me reading very young. I think she saw my needs being obscured by my younger sibs and tried to get me into school at five, when she was sure I was ready. While the school wouldn't admit me then (and there was no kindergarten at the time in our system), they let me join the Grade one class after my 6th birthday at the end of May. Of course, this meant that I was a year younger than my classmates for the rest of my grade school years, and there was some cost to that, but all through those years, I thought it was a pretty good deal. (Now, of course, it seems that I'm no years younger than anybody!)
3. I might have the longest-ever undergraduate education, having started in 1970, dropping out in '72, doing part-time and correspondence from then through my child-rearing years, and finally completing my BA in 1994, 24 years after I started!
4. Through my teens, I worked on crocheting a bedspread (fingering weight cotton, called rug warp, tiny hook, fairly intricate pattern) alongside my Grandma, who was doing the same pattern -- I think Grandma was making one of these for each of her children. I inherited one of hers and have my own, and I cherish them both. I must have been rather a nerdy teen to have enjoyed those sessions so much, but heading up to sit with Grandma and crochet while watching TV and sharing a cup of tea was so often my favourite refuge. You can see a bit of the bedspread behind the boots in this post.
5. I started playing the piano when I was five, completed my Piano Performer's ARCT (Associateship with the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto) in my late 20's, and taught piano and music theory for over twenty years. I have a lovely Kawaii Grand piano (small, but not baby) but rarely, to my shame, do I play anymore, although I keep meaning to. Someone really needs to do something about the number of hours in a day!
6. I love driving standard and except for a Chevy Vega we inherited from Paul's Mom in the late 70's, all our cars have been Standard, including a 3-on-the-column '71 Valiant "back in the day" and a 4-on-the-floor Dodge Aries (with bench seat in the front, very retro) through the 80's. Right now I drive a Honda Civic and before that, for eleven years I drove a '91 Toyota Corolla. Yes, you've noticed -- I raised four kids without a mini-van!
7. All my life, I've been asked if my hair is naturally curly. Really, who'd perm to get this when they could have straight hair?! Admittedly, I came to terms with my curls at least a couple of decades ago, but I grew up in a time when hair products were very limited, especially in a large family with a tight budget. Occasionally we'd have something called 'creme rinse,' which would at least detangle, but I learned to live with frizz! Put my time in sleeping with my hair tightly wound round orange juice cans or just in a tight ponytail, bobby-pinned as close to my head as I could get it.
8. I finally got hearing aids two summers ago after knowing for some time that my hearing was deteriorating. I can manage fine without them, but follow conversations more easily with the electronic acoustic aid. My pattern of loss -- they call it a cookie bite -- is the same as my little sister's altho' her loss showed up much earlier and more intensely. Funny -- we're also the only two in our huge family who have four children, and we each have three girls and a boy (altho' the birth order configurations of boy/girl are different).

And, if you've persevered this far, you know a ninth not-so-random thing about me -- it's very, very difficult for me to overcome a sense of obligation in any endeavour, but I'm working on it!


  1. Such fascinating things about you! I started school when I was five and was an early reader as well. And I'm also a piano player, albeit one without a piano (where would it fit, in this tiny apartment?). I will do this meme soon, but at the moment have houseguests and am about to depart tomorrow for the Loire Valley.

  2. Very nicely done! The thing about doing a meme is not to worry--there is no sense of obligation, and if people don't want to play along, that's fine. It's not like chain letters.
    We have some things in common, including that long undergrad degree. I'm a few years behind you, though--started in 1976 in Ag. Science (pre-vet), flunked calculus twice so switched to a technical program. In 1990 I decided to return to university just for fun, and then with the help of a few science credits from before, did a 4 year honours degree in two years--in English, with a double minor in biology and history.
    I rather envy you the large family. My husband's father had 18 siblings, and although he had only two children, some of those siblings then had 6-12 children themselves. My family is much, much smaller. I know that large families can be difficult by times, but they can also be a joy, and what I've read of your blog suggests that there's a lot of joy.
    Standard cars ROCK. I learned to drive one while I was at Ag. College, and since then have had 1 automatic--and that was a go-fast Mustang that would have gone-faster had it been a standard.
    In grade 5, I started piano lessons, on the family piano that my grandmother gave to me and we lugged from Nova Scotia to Nfld. We moved to NB the next year and I was given the choice between piano and riding lessons. Guess which I took? The piano moved with my family for years until about 7 years ago, when we brought it here to our home; but last year I gave it to a special addiction recovery house that I felt needed it more than we did. That's a short version of an essay I'm currently working on.
    I really enjoy your blog (and I'm really envious of your Bowles Mauve erysimum, only the bright yellow is still trying to bloom here. Do try the C. elata, though.)

  3. I love reading your blog, and its great learning so much information!!!

  4. I'm not ignoring the eight random things, really! It's just that I'm at a loss for eight other bloggers to tag. But if I may also blog without obligation, I'll tag the four or so that I believe will participate.


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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